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EU, Japan Complete First Round Of FTA Talks

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

22 April 2013


The European Union (EU) and Japan have completed the first round of negotiations toward a free trade agreement (FTA), described as "a good start" by the European Commission.

Talks were formally launched last month after nearly two years of preparations. The aim is to conclude a comprehensive agreement in goods, services, and investment that eliminates tariffs, non-tariff barriers and covers public procurement, regulatory issues, competition, and sustainable development. The negotiating directives adopted by the European Council last authorize the suspension of the negotiations after one year if Japan does not live up to its commitments on removing non-tariff barriers.

According to the European Commission, a deal could boost the EU's economy by 0.6-0.8% of its gross domestic product and result in the creation and growth of 400,000 jobs. A 32.7% jump in EU exports to Japan is anticipated, while Japanese exports to the EU could rise by 23.5%.

Commenting on the talks so far, Mauro Petriccione, Director in the European Commission's Directorate General for Trade, said: "It's been a good start. This is a big negotiation with some difficult issues, but I am confident we can make good progress in the months to come."

The next round will be held in Tokyo at the end of June.

TAGS: European Commission | free trade agreement (FTA) | tariffs | trade treaty | agreements | trade | European Union (EU) | Japan | services | Europe

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